Author: Mark Horwitz

What You Don’t Know About Depositing Cash into the Bank Can Result in Your Going to Prison

There is nothing illegal about having currency, however, federal laws impose reporting requirements on banks, financial institutions, and regular businesses. The reporting requirements of a bank impact not only the bank but also the bank customers. A deposit of over $10,000 in currency into a bank customer’s account requires that the bank submit a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) to the Treasury Department. This form is utilized by the Treasury Department for various purposes including: tracing cash into a bank, deciding whether to open a criminal tax investigation, or just keeping a historic record of cash deposits. Many individuals are...

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Recording Conversations Can Be a Felony in Florida

  Many people believe that they have the right to record their conversations when talking with someone in person or over the phone. While this is correct in many states, in Florida it may be a felony. With modern technology it is easy and tempting to record a conversation either in person, over the phone, or over the internet. Just because modern technology makes the recording easy, it does not make the recording legal in the state of Florida. The recording of a telephone call or face-to-face conversation without the knowledge of all parties to the conversation, can be...

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IRS & DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SEEK RECORDS OF OFFSHORE DEBIT CARDS

The Department of Justice announced that it obtained an order authorizing the Internal Revenue Service to serve John Doe summonses to obtain records of U.S. taxpayers who have offshore accounts established by Sovereign Management & Legal LTD (SML), a Panamanian entity. This is part of the continuing effort of the IRS to discover U.S. citizens and residents with undisclosed offshore accounts. It is the government’s belief that debit cards issued by offshore banks are a means by which U.S. taxpayers gain access to offshore accounts in a secretive manner.   The IRS uses a John Doe summons to obtain information about possible violations of internal revenue laws by U.S. citizens and residents whose identities are not known. SML has no offices in the United States according to its website, but, apparently, the government believes that it can obtain records by subpoenaing an individual whom it believes has control over the offshore business. When the government obtains records, it can then prosecute the individuals who failed to properly report the offshore accounts and the income earned on those accounts.   The government obtained an order from the U.S. District Court in Bozeman, Montana authorizing a John Doe summons to be served upon Mr. Michael Behr of Bozeman, Montana. The John Doe summons seeks information about U.S. taxpayers who may hold offshore accounts during the years 2005 to 2016, established by SML....

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Filing Federal Income Tax Returns

It is time to think about filing your US income tax return and paying the income tax that might be due. The failure to timely file the return can have significant civil as well as criminal penalties. Civil penalties for not filing tax returns are related to the amount of unpaid tax. If a person files late and pays the taxes late, there are two separate civil penalties. First, for each month that the tax return is late a penalty of 5% of the unpaid tax is imposed. Thereafter, an additional 5% is added every month to a maximum...

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